17, again


I spent my Labor Day cleaning out my bedroom at my dad’s house. It was quite an experience. It seemed as though everything and everyone that had passed through my life between 1994 and 2002 was somewhere in those four walls. Including this letter.

I wrote this to my boyfriend when I was a 17yo junior in high school. I was on a class trip to Monterrey, Mexico. My mom was chaperoning. I have no idea what we fought about or why she kicked me out of the house while we were vacationing in a foreign country.

I share this primarily because it is honest. And angsty and melodramatic in ways that only a teenage girl who reads Socrates and Dickens for fun can be. But honest, nonetheless. Back then, I told D things that I would never admit to anyone else, knowing that he would not judge me (my original “judgment free zone”). I also think that it’s a great reminder that you can never know what another person is struggling with beyond the facade you see. I was often accused of “having it all” at this time in my life. “All” is such a subjective word.

Finally, this letter says just what I’ve been feeling about my heart’s deepest desires for the last 2 years, but haven’t been able to put into words – my definition of “success” is “family”.

Sunday, April 20, 1997

Well, it’s official. After 2 hellish days in Mexico, she’s kicked me out of the house. Why, well because. Because she wants a child, and I’m not it. I think we’ve both come to the realization that no matter how much fussin or fightin or pullin and tuggin we do, I’ll never get there. And now it’s time to stop. 17 years is too long.

I can’t really say that I’ve lost a mother. That wouldn’t be true. She’s been slowly slipping away for years now. The singing stopped. The hugs and kisses weren’t so frequent. The scowls and furrowed eyebrows became apart of her mein. Perhaps if I were stronger, more mature, I could handle this. But I can’t. I’m tired, worn out. There’s nothing left in me. All I can seem to do is cry and ask why.

Why was I born? To a mother who already had her perfect daughter and a father who wanted the perfect son. I’ve tried to be both. Surpass L*** and live up to S**** at the same time. A rubber band stretched in 2 different directions will bounce back for a while, but eventually loses its elasticity and goes limp. Well, that’s where I am right now. Limp.

Now it’s time to face another day with a painted smile and recorded laugh. Does anyone see how I’m hurting inside? I can’t believe I’m that good of an actress. Does anyone care? I feel like I could die tomorrow and would simply free up another space. Loneliness in a crowd of people is the worst possible kind.

When I think about how I’d like my life to be, I’d give up everything. The clothes, the house, the school, the friends, every possible thing for family. A place and people to call my own. Then, I wouldn’t need any of that other stuff. Cause then, I’d be rich.


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